Renewing Our Mission: EXPLORE

Discussion Group Opportunity Since 2001, the Y.W.C.A. has been sponsoring discussion groups as part of its mission to eliminate racism. The program framework is drawn from a book by Shelly Tochluk entitled Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race Continue reading →

Website Resources

Covenant News – May 2017

Read the May edition of the Covenant News! Continue reading →

Welcome Sonya Vann
Our Sabbatical Pastor

With much gladness the Sabbatical Minister Search Team of the Year of Renewal Steering Committee, and the Executive Ministry of First Church, announce the selection of Sonya Vann as our Sabbatical Pastor. She will serve in Pastor Dave Denoon’s absence, Continue reading →

The Cry of Jeremiah: Still I Rise
Sunday, April 9
at 4:00 p.m.

Next up in the God Is Still Speaking – Come Listen! Concert Series!                   The program will feature the First Congregational Church Chancel Choir with guest singers from the St. Louis Symphony Continue reading →

Faith Formation – March 2017

Lambs or Lions? by Tracey Harris When I taught preschool, I always talked about the March weather coming in like a Lion and going out like a Lamb. I also recall the Shakespeare quote from Julius Caesar to “beware the Continue reading →

Moderator’s Corner
March 2017

by Phil Shoulberg Having heard a number of recent questions regarding the Jubilee Garden, I want to bring the congregation up to date. The project was undertaken to leave a lasting legacy of our 150th Jubilee Celebration. The Jubilee Garden Continue reading →

From the Pastor
March 2017

Dr. Inglis Called It! I was recently researching in the First Church Archives, to find information about the Rev. Dr. Robert Leslie Parker, Jr., when I ran unexpectedly across some words of the Rev. Dr. Ervine Inglis which I thought Continue reading →

“PLENTY GOOD ROOM”
Study Series for Lent

Starting on Sunday, March 5 (study only at 11:30 AM) and continuing on Wednesdays after Ash Wednesday Our study series for Lent will be introduced on Sunday, March 5 at 11:30AM. Wednesday sessions (March 8, 15, 22, 29, and April Continue reading →

Treasurer’s Report
as of December 31, 2016

Below are the church operating results for the year ending December 31, 2016: Items to note: Included in 2015 Non Pledged Gifts are life insurance proceeds where the church was named as a beneficiary by a late member of the congregation. Continue reading →

We have named 2017 our Year of Renewal.

There is one thing that prompted us to do so, and another that enabled us. But, of course, it God who empowers us, so we look forward to a shining time.

The year 2016 included our 150th Jubilee. This remarkable observance was comprised of multiple celebrations and reflections on what it means for us to “have come this far by faith.”

As the year began, Pastor Dave Denoon entered his sixth year with us. Part of our Terms of Call with him is the provision of a sabbatical – twelve weeks for him to be away and recharge. We decided in March 2016 to apply for funding through the Lilly Endowment, a Clergy Renewal Grant. In August we received word that we had been selected and our grant approved.

Pastor Dave has decided to explore abroad the roots of American racism, by going on a tour of West African countries with his family which is transracial. He hopes to do this by interacting with the people, learning more fully the history, and experiencing the wide ranging cultures in Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal (at least). He is additionally interested in witnessing the places and ports through which the Middle Passage slave trade commenced, and to appreciate the spiritual foundations that have engendered the strength and courage so visible throughout the African Diaspora.

We meanwhile have committed ourselves to approaching more deeply the cultural underpinnings of race and racism in America. With the pastor, we know that change needs to happen in the grounding of our society and the hearts of our people, if discrimination and prejudice are ever to be battled and positive outcomes reached. We know we cannot “fix” racism, but we can be more sensitive to ways in which we perpetuate it unknowingly and unintentionally. And we know from scripture that the Holy Spirit’s effects upon us require that we engage this form of repentance as well as others, if we are to become truly whole in God.

So, from January 15, 2017, through January 14, 2018, this is the work that we intend to engage as a historically White congregation prayingto live out divine mercy and seeking “to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with [our] God.”